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Everybody loves free stuff. Here are 15 unique goody bag ideas for the ultimate event swag. Whatever your price range and audience, there is something here to suit every event.
Many conference bags are unoriginal. Another pen or paperweight isn’t really something to get excited about. You want attendees to leave an event delighted about the swag they brought home, splashing the event and goodies across social media and showing off to increase your brand awareness and make them want to come back.
Event budget will obviously affect the decisions made but that doesn’t stop you from coming up with original ideas. With large annual events such SXSW, TED and Comic Con the swag is amazing because the budgets are massive. To compete with this you need unique and quirky ideas like these, that will keep them talking about your brand and stop them from throwing it out.
1. Adult Coloring books
With a range of adult coloring books themes available from superheroes, Disney and tribal to swearing, animals and forests there are flexible options to suit every event. These are a popular craze at the moment and can help relax and calm the mind. Make your brand remind attendees of a calmer stress-free time in their lives, or unwind at the end of a busy day, and pop one of these in the goody bags
Price Range: $5-$10
2. Healthy Chocolate
Yes, it exists! Superfood chocolate is raw, gluten-free, vegan and kosher while being infused with healthy antioxidant-rich herbs and ingredients. Healthy chocolate is not widely known so adding them to the goody bags will be a hit with the masses and an excuse to eat more of their favorite treat, guilt-free. While it’s obviously not as beneficial as an apple it will appeal to food lovers, with the added advantage of being less sinful. Everyone will need to know if it tastes the same as the real thing.
Price Range: $1-$2
3. Smartphone Screen Magnifiers
Almost everyone has a smartphone now which means that anything that makes that experience better is going to be a crowd pleaser. Screen magnifiers are perfect for traveling when you want to watch TV on the train or in a hotel room and you want a bigger screen. The likelihood is that some of your attendees will have had to travel in some form or another so these could be used straight away!
If you have a higher budget you could also opt for smartphone projectors that come in at around $30+ and can create mini home theatre experiences for your attendees.
Price Range: $10-$15
4. One-line-a-Day Memory Books
What do you always get in a goody bag? A notebook of some description. While these can be handy they can also be boring and unoriginal which means they probably won’t be used. These memory books add a different twist to the classic notebook and provide attendees with a way of capturing each day for five years with a single line, looking back and seeing at a glance what they entered 12-months before (a great reminder when the event date is coming round again!). There are also ways to make these even more event specific as they come in parent, gardener and healthy living options too.
Price Range: $14-$17
5. Eco-friendly Giveaways
More and more people are becoming environmentally friendly (or at least environmentally conscious) which means that this kind of giveaway will go down well. There are a lot of different options but our favorite is the mini grow-your-own kits that range from multicolored vegetables to bonsai trees and encourage guests to think about the environment and take home a lasting memento.
If you have a lower budget, opt for branded packets of seeds with a clever message instead. It might not look as expensive but it is also easy for attendees that have flown in to take away.
Or, you can still channel the eco theme by trading the plastic bags for canvas bags at around $7 or $8 which is something they can use time and time again and show off your event details every time.
Price Range: $14 - $25
6. Alcoholic Lollipops
Tailoring lollipops to adults will certainly get people talking. With alcoholic flavors such as; chardonnay, beer, lager, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, stout and mixed wine packs there will be one to suit everyone (just make sure you let them know it’s alcoholic so they don’t take them home and give them to the kids!).
Price Range: $8-$12
7. Travel Chargers
USB sticks have become so mainstream and accessible that they are no longer worthy of the goody bag. They have now been replaced with travel chargers for your smartphone. These handy bricks hold a charge and then plug into your phone with a variety of different adapters to make sure that you never run out of battery.
This is particularly useful at all day events when attendees will have likely drained their batteries taking photos or recording video and your goody bag will be an immediate life saver – just make sure they come pre-charged.
Price Range: $10-$20
8. Virtual Swag
A relatively new option in the growing age of technology is providing virtual swag or goodies. These are particularly useful for events where attendees have to travel because they take up minimal space but can be incredibly budget flexible.
Making sure to explain virtual gift bags is important because they are not always tangible products. E-gift cards, ebooks, apps, gift codes and online game access are all excellent examples of giving virtual gifts that can also tie in nicely to promoting sponsors, collaborators or creating a buzz about up and coming products that you are marketing.
Price Range: Flexible
9. Retro Sweets
Sweets have definitely been done before but hey, they are a crowd and budget pleaser! Add a unique twist by opting for some of the old classics that are not as readily available to get people feeling nostalgic and show how much you care. Depending on the age of your event demographic, it will depend on how far back you want to go but whether it’s Tootsie rolls, Turtles or Jazzies, either way we miss them and you can get boxes of sweets and candy from ‘the good old days’ to have your attendees reminiscing and talking.
Price Range: $10-$15 (per box)
10. Twisted Vintage
For those on a tighter budget or with smaller distribution, upcycling vintage items and turning them into new products can be an interesting, cheaper alternative that is super memorable. For example, vintage teacups that have been turned into candles are a conversation starter, statement piece and also something you (or your team) can make yourselves. This is a really personal touch if you want to ensure you are passing on something they haven't seen before.
For weddings, trade show stalls or other smaller fairs consider buying pieces in bulk and creating something new to save on the budget. Plus, this gives you the flexibility to truly reflect your brand and breathe new life into a piece (again ticking the environmental angle)!
Price Range: Flexible
At all-day events, trade shows or conferences many people need a little pick-me-up (something an alcoholic lolly won’t fix!) which means for larger budgets you can send them home with mini wine samples. Something like the vinebox which offers 3 small glasses of special curated wine can add a more luxury feel to the goody bags and will definitely make attendees feel warm inside!
Alternatively, for lower budgets, you could include a free drink voucher in the goody bags for events that offer a bar or catering.
Price Range: $35+
Music is another common love that everyone shares so a cheap and cheerful goody bag gift that attendees will enjoy are headphones and they are easy to brand as a static marketing technique as well. Since people usually wear earphones for public use it is easy to see where they got them from and boom, better brand awareness. They are also a great twist on the old classic ear protectors that used to come with goody bags (and flights!).
For those with a bigger budget, you could opt to buy portable speakers which come in at around $30+ but will still be widely received.
Price Range: $10-$20
13. Fitness kit
A practical giveaway is a Fitkit. In essence, this is a small kit to encourage exercise and a total body workout, even if traveling away from home. Presented in a portable branded case or bag it can include a jump rope, resistance bands, and exercise cards produced by a qualified fitness instructor. Neat!
Price Range: $8-$25
14. Gourmet Popcorn
Provide the ultimate movie night giveaway by providing a gourmet popcorn presentation set. Perfect for the next opportunity to "Netflix and chill" in style. Choose from organic brands or different flavors. Perfect for the feel good factor and unwinding after a busy event!
Price Range: Approximately $8 - $18
15. Mini Drone
If you really want to impress, consider offering a mini-drone. Look at models that can take photos and videos to give an exciting and practical angle to the giveaway. Offering lots of fun and a very different promotional opportunity, this will certainly get everyone talking!
Price Range: $40 and upwards
Goody bags are important to your attendees so no matter what you choose, make sure that you have an impact for the right reasons. Keep your brand in the forefront of their mind. Ultimately, unique and decent swag will spread awareness and keep your goodies from being put straight in the bin or forgotten about in a corner!